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Practice report
IndyCar Toronto

Toronto IndyCar: Rossi leads Pagenaud in opening practice

Alexander Rossi put Andretti Autosport-Honda on top of the times in IndyCar’s first practice at Toronto, ahead of defending race-winner Simon Pagenaud, as the series returned to Canada for the first time since 2019.

Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport Honda

Palou was the first driver into the 61sec bracket, a 61.8398sec which he then trimmed to 61.4782, which equates to 104.583mph around the 1.786-mile course. Two-time Toronto pole-winner Will Power trimmed his advantage to 0.22sec, then delivered a 61.3240 to go top for Team Penske-Chevrolet.

His former teammate Simon Pagenaud, a master of the bumpy street course, got within 0.0758sec in his Meyer Shank Racing-Honda, before Andretti Autosport-Honda’s Alexander Rossi edged 0.0172sec ahead of Power to claim P1.

With 42mins left, Felix Rosenqvist vaulted into first for Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet, by just 0.0053sec, right before the red flag flew for an inspection of a drain cover at Turn 2.

Callum Ilott struck the wall at Turn 1 with his front-left corner 30mins after overcorrecting a slide, the subsequent second red flag coming moments after Graham Rahal – the 2009 polesitter here – sent his #15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda to the top. His 61.2189sec effort was the first lap over 105mph.

Soon after the session restarted, Jimmie Johnson spun his Carvana Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda while trying his softer Firestone alternate compound tires, and although he stalled, he had minimized damage to just his right-front wing.

AMR Safety Team’s recovery of the #48 was swift, and following the green flag, Palou hit the track with a set of Foalternates, and most drivers followed suit, for this was the only chance to try the alternates before tomorrow afternoon’s qualifying session.

Helio Castroneves of Meyer Shank was the first to make it count, moving into second place, while Scott McLaughlin who had zero experience of the track prior to this weekend landed fifth. Then Palou went fastest with a 61.1376sec lap, while teammate Scott Dixon slotted into second, 0.07sec adrift.

While teammate Pato O’Ward overshot Turn 1, Rosenqvist moved to the top with a 60.7936sec lap, but that was quickly shaded by Alexander Rossi (60.6090sec), Rahal, championship leader Marcus Ericsson and Josef Newgarden.

Pagenaud’s best flyer was a 60.6991sec, enough to put him second with 5mins to go, but then his teammate Castroneves and Dixon went off at Turn 8, the Ganassi driver skating straight on, spinning around and returning to the course, but the MSR car nosed into the tires and needed retrieval.

With too many people then hitting the track with 2mins to go, there wasn’t enough time for anyone to improve, so that Rossi emerged from the session on top ahead of Pagenaud, Rahal, Ericsson, Newgarden and Rosenqvist. This sextet was covered by a mere 0.1846sec.

Power had his best lap hindered inadvertently by Rossi, and wound up ninth, splitting Dixon and Palou – the latter being the best of the drivers who had never previously tried this track. Rahal’s teammate Christian Lundgaard was an impressive 11th.

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Mph
1 United States Alexander Rossi
United States Andretti Autosport 23 1'00.6090 106.083
2 France Simon Pagenaud
United States Meyer Shank Racing 24 1'00.6991 0.0901 105.926
3 United States Graham Rahal
United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 27 1'00.7031 0.0941 105.919
4 Sweden Marcus Ericsson
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 27 1'00.7262 0.1172 105.879
5 United States Josef Newgarden
United States Team Penske 29 1'00.7650 0.1560 105.811
6 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist
United States Arrow McLaren SP 23 1'00.7936 0.1846 105.761
7 United States Colton Herta
United States Andretti Autosport 24 1'00.8689 0.2599 105.630
8 New Zealand Scott Dixon
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 24 1'00.9854 0.3764 105.429
9 Australia Will Power
United States Team Penske 28 1'00.9932 0.3842 105.415
10 Spain Alex Palou
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 33 1'01.0522 0.4432 105.313
11 Denmark Christian Lundgaard
United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 31 1'01.1749 0.5659 105.102
12 Brazil Helio Castroneves
United States Meyer Shank Racing 19 1'01.2454 0.6364 104.981
13 Japan Takuma Sato
United States Dale Coyne Racing 30 1'01.2604 0.6514 104.955
14 United States David Malukas
Dale Coyne Racing with HMD 25 1'01.2627 0.6537 104.951
15 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin
United States Team Penske 31 1'01.3171 0.7081 104.858
16 France Romain Grosjean
United States Andretti Autosport 30 1'01.3535 0.7445 104.796
17 Canada Devlin DeFrancesco
United States Andretti Autosport 31 1'01.5252 0.9162 104.504
18 United Kingdom Jack Harvey
United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 32 1'01.6580 1.0490 104.278
19 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout
United States Ed Carpenter Racing 25 1'01.6766 1.0676 104.247
20 Mexico Patricio O'Ward
United States Arrow McLaren SP 26 1'01.6906 1.0816 104.223
21 United States Kyle Kirkwood
United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 27 1'01.8350 1.2260 103.980
22 United States Conor Daly
United States Ed Carpenter Racing 25 1'02.1501 1.5411 103.453
23 United Kingdom Callum Ilott
Juncos Hollinger Racing 19 1'02.6874 2.0784 102.566
24 United States Jimmie Johnson
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 37 1'03.0238 2.4148 102.019
25 Canada Dalton Kellett
United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 29 1'03.0873 2.4783 101.916

 

 

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